Required Readings

PhD(isabled), LA school board settlement, sex ed, quackademic medicine, and more: Your Required Readings for March 18, 2014

To start off our Tuesday readings, we want to draw your attention to a blog that recently came to our attention, about the intersection of disability and academia.

In happy news, a federal district court approved a consent decree requiring the Sabine Parish School Board to stop imposing Christianity on its students, thus ending a lawsuit filed by the ACLU on behalf of a Buddhist 6th grade student. The settlement, which wasn’t a surprise to anyone who saw the documentation provided by the plaintiffs, will include a $4,000 payment to the child’s parents to cover the costs of transporting the student to a different school and $40,000 for legal fees. In addition, “all members of the school board, as well as all faculty — both current and incoming — [must] be trained by an attorney approved by the ACLU and the ACLU of Louisiana as to their responsibilities with respect to the First Amendment.” Frankly, I think ACLU of Louisiana should mail a copy of the consent decree to every parish school board in the state. In many areas, it’s an open secret that such church-state violations are occurring, but finding plaintiffs willing to take on the risks associated with legal action is much more difficult.

Also in Louisiana this week: the regularly scheduled attempt to get factual, age-appropriate sex education in the public school system. It’s not like the state has some of the highest STI rates in the nation or anything.

David Gorski wins the internets for introducing me to the phrase quackademic medicine. Someone at the University of Arizona Cancer Center should be introduced to the concepts of evidence-based medicine and evaluating the literature.

Over at Bad Astronomy, Phil Plait has some things to say about what Wyoming is trying to do to science education.

And Diane Ravitch makes a frightening prediction about the fate of public schools, particularly in urban areas.

Required Readings are a list of links that you might find interesting! Look for them to appear every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday morning.Have some links you’d like to share? Submit them on our contact form!

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Librarienne is a university librarian who sees her professional mission as teaching the masses how to separate the wheat from the chaff in today's expanding universe of information, that everything you read requires a critical eye, and how to properly use apostrophes.

1 Comment

  1. March 18, 2014 at 11:25 am —

    Glad as I am of the ACLU’s victory in the Sabine Parish case, the rawstory summary of the events seems to be… a bit inaccurate. At least, they seem to have embellished some of the discussions. Even going by the ACLU’s version of events as described in the court filing, for example, the Superintendent did not say that they should send the kid to the other school if they wanted “an ungodly clasroom”. Frankly, what the Superintendent and School are alleged to have done is bad enough, I don’t see why rawstory needs to go ahead and embellish on it.

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